Though Halo Infinite will be cross-gen, it will “play best on Scarlett.”
Halo Infinite was a pretty big presence at Microsoft’s E3 show yesterday. Confirmed to be a launch title for the recently revealed Project Scarlett, the game, and the new Xbox, will both launch in Holiday 2020. But of course, it’s not like you won’t be able to play the game if you don’t dive into Scarlett right away- because Halo Infinite, as a cross-gen title, will also be releasing on Xbox One.
So as the game that’s being billed the killer app launch title for Scarlett, and is what Microsoft will presumably be banking on to sell their new system, how will it leverage the newer hardware? Recently, while speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty got to speaking about the matter, and said that 343 Industries are “in prime position to take advantage of the things Scarlett will offer“.
“We’re not talking today about features in Halo Infinite but what I can share is our first-party studios have direct access to the team working on Project Scarlett, and the Halo team gets first access to what’s running on the hardware,” said Booty. “So they are in prime position to take advantage of the things Scarlett will offer, but as you pointed out we also want to make sure people who own an Xbox One get a game which runs well up and down the Xbox family. But it plays best on Scarlett.”
“Start to think about things like bringing a bigger density of life to a world,” he continued, speaking of how the added capabilities of Scarlett and all that it will enable will help Halo Infinite. “We know the kind of game Halo is, the kind of detail in there. Think about bringing more density and variety to the light inside its world. Think about not having to create artificial design things to mask some of the limitations of the hardware and just bring things off of the SSD as fast as they’re needed on screen.”
But seeing as the game is being developed to also be able to run properly on the Xbox One, which is significantly older and less powerful than Scarlett, how is 343 Industries reconciling that? As per Booty, the process of making a game for two pieces of hardware with such a gap between them is no different than making a game that has to take into account both high end and low end PC hardware.
“Well, we already have a space where we need to navigate this, and that’s PC games,” said Booty. “You can have a PC with two Nvidia 1080s with SLI and 64GB of RAM, while I have a hand-me-down laptop. The game needs to be smart enough to take advantage of what’s there in the best possible way, but also set itself up to run on the hardware which doesn’t have those capabilities.
“The fact we have direct access literally across the soccer field to the Windows team working on DirectX and all the gaming features on Windows means we have experience navigating up and down the hardware continuum. And a little bit of that is going to be coming to our world on console, but again our lens on this is always from the player’s point of view. How do we make sure our game is opened up to as many people as possible, and invested into our console family?”
Halo Infinite launches Holiday 2020 for the Xbox One, PC, and Scarlett.